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World news in brief

25 May 2018


Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos Pérez (left), secretary-general of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference, and Bishop Juan Ignacio Errázuriz, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago de Chile, at a news conference about the abuse crisis

Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos Pérez (left), secretary-general of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference, and Bishop Juan Ignacio Errázuriz, ...

Every RC bishop in Chile offers to resign

ALL of Chile’s Roman Catholic bishops offered to resign on Thursday of last week after a sexual abuse and cover-up scandal in the country. They had been summoned to an emergency meeting in Rome. At the time of going to press, Pope Francis had not yet responded to the offers of resignation from 31 serving and three retired bishops. They said: “We have put our positions in the hands of the Holy Father and will leave it to him to decide freely for each of us. We want to ask forgiveness for the pain caused to the victims, to the pope, to God’s people and to our country for the serious errors and omissions we have committed.” The Pope had previously said that the Chilean Church was responsible for “grave defects” in handling sexual abuse cases, and offered an apology (News, 23 February).


Woman archbishop elected in Canada

THE Bishop of New Westminster, the Rt Revd Melissa Skelton, was elected Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Province of British Columbia and Yukon, in the Anglican Church of Canada, last week. She said: “About being the first woman Metropolitan in the Anglican Church of Canada, all that I can say is ‘Thanks be to God for the privilege.’” She has been a diocesan bishop since 2014.


Melanesian Anglicans hold Decade of Evangelism

THE Anglican Church of Melanesia launched a Decade of Evangelism and Renewal this week, beginning with an open-air evangelistic crusade in the car park of Honiara City Council. A statement from the Province says: “It is believed that this program will significantly transform our lives to be renewed, revived, and reformed so that we can be able to live out the realities of the Gospel truths as we seek God’s Kingdom together.”

PAPeople take part in the Whit Monday processional ride from Bad Kötzting to Steinbühl in Bavaria, Germany. In one of the region’s oldest traditions, almost 900 participants decorated their horses and rode four-and-a-half miles, carrying crosses and torches to St Nicholas’s, in Steinbühl


Nicaraguan Church convenes national dialogue

THE United Nations’ Secretary General, António Guterres, has welcomed a national dialogue between civic groups and the government in Nicaragua, mediated by Roman Catholic bishops, after fatal clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters. A UN spokesman said: “The Secretary-General remains concerned about recent violence and calls on all Nicaraguans to abide by the rule of law, respect for human rights and the peaceful resolution of differences.” At least 65 people were killed in violence that followed protests against President Ortega’s 11-year rule. The national dialogue began last week.


Algerian Christians fined in crackdown, CSW says

THE campaign Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that two Algerian Christians have been convicted and fined for proselytising this month. One man, Noureddeine, was fined approximately £650, and has to pay legal fees, while another, Nabil, was fined by customs for illegally importing Christian materials. CSW says that this is part of a crackdown on churches in Algeria after a law was introduced in 2006 to regulate non-Muslim religions. The Chief Executive of CSW, Mervyn Thomas, said: “The law has opened the way for Christians to be accused of proselytism and blasphemy, and to be threatened with imprisonment and monetary fines. CSW urges the Algerian government to repeal this law, which contravenes constitutional stipulations and international human-rights standards.”

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